Toguchi’s Grave Concerns About Hawaii Public Education

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BY MIKE PALCIC – The economy aside, it is abundantly clear that pouring ever increasing funding into public education has not produced desirable results.


The chairman of the board of education publicly pleads for money, but when huge increases have accomplished little it is hard to see how significant reductions can do much harm.

Except to the employment and advancement prospects of those who inhabit the vast education bureaucracy; except to the protected non-performers throughout the system; except to the mandatory tithe to exert political influence; except to those who squander the resources of an organization so huge it defies any attempt to audit its activities and expenditures.

No amount of rejuvenation to economic activity can revitalize public education. The department of education must undergo a top to bottom reorganization with an eye to the efficient performance of necessary tasks. It must utilize a dramatically reduced workforce outside the classroom.

All the little pet programs, student support services and other glorified social work should suffer harsh scrutiny.  Education is about learning.

Students and their families should be allowed to choose which schools to attend. Funding and other resources should follow these choices.

Many of the corrective actions run counter to the interests of entrenched bureaucrats, tenured teachers and politically powerful union masters.

The time has come to alter our approach, to empower those who do the actual work, to allow freedom of choice to work its lever of competitive pressure. This is how to raise the standard of performance in public education.

If this is allowed to happen, it will unleash the power of entrepreneurial innovation. It will create a active arena of new economic activity and employment opportunity.